As students this week take the STAAR exam, campus test coordinators have a new resource—five, to be exact—to help the process go as smooth as possible.
Dallas ISD this year has five new districtwide testing coordinators who are on call to help the campus test coordinators at every school. The campus test coordinators are encouraged to call the districtwide testing coordinators, each of which is assigned to one of the five district divisions, with any question regarding the administration of the test, from test security to online test setup. Previously, there was only one specialist to support more than 200 district schools.
“Having a resource such as this is greatly beneficial to the campus test coordinators,” said Dr. Robert Mount, director of State and National Assessments for Dallas ISD. “They have someone to call who is specifically there to help them.”
Tiffany Cameron is one of the five districtwide testing coordinators. She said she has only heard positive feedback from the campus test coordinators. She added that the districtwide testing coordinators offer help either by phone or in-person at the school.
“(The five districtwide coordinators) were all campus test coordinators, so we know how it feels to be overwhelmed,” she said. “We want to help (campus test coordinators) make it go as smooth as possible.”
Campus test coordinators are trained at a district office on how to administer the test. The campus test coordinators then go back to their campuses and train the campus test administers.
Mount said that many of the campus test coordinators are new, which makes it important to provide them with extra support.
Mount said the goal of the five districtwide testing coordinators is to support campuses and help campus testing coordinators plan and execute well-organized test administrations. He said the district feels that implementing well-organized plans will help reduce the number of testing irregularities that happen during the administration of STAAR tests. Testing irregularities, which range from a test administrator giving the wrong test on the wrong day to intentionally cheating, can lead to invalid test scores and a reduced school accountability rating.
“We in Dallas ISD take all measures necessary to make sure the test is administered in accordance to state and district standards,” Mount said. “We monitor the administration of the test so it is valid and we will have as few testing violations as possible.”
For a student calendar of when STAAR tests are being administered, click here.